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Christmas in Chania

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30556337494_76bcda0cc5_k
Christmas in Chania

Have you ever had the pleasure of experiencing Christmas in Chania? Chania is transformed under the spell of the season’s spirit. It is often that the White Mountains do in fact live up to their name, and especially during Christmas. The mountaintops behind Chania town can be seen coated in snow, something that is even more beautiful to witness on a clear day. And clear days are not lacking during Christmas in Chania. Crete, being on the southernmost frontier of Greece, is known to enjoy the mildest of Greek temperatures, given it is in closer proximity to the African continent, Libya to the west and Egypt to the right. So it is cold, but chances are it will also be sunny, with the sun having ‘teeth’ as we say.

Winter and the festive season in Chania paints a sensational, seaside scene. Skies are heavier with clouds, creating a textured surface that is fascinating to watch. Being near the water at the old Venetian harbour, walking to the the lighthouse to watch the brazen waves hit the breaker one after the other fills one up with the awakening sense of seeing forever in a moment. Don’t rush observing the ebb and flow of time in this simple pattern of nature that actually transcends the moment, giving you a glimpse into eternity. Take deep breaths and try to empty your mind of any worries and concerns, paving the way for New Year’s resolutions to come. Before turning around, take a picture to immortalise the frame. From the end of the pier, looking back into the harbour makes for a great photographic opportunity, as are the crashing waves.



During a crisp, clear winter day, Chania is simply invigorating. As you walk back, you will be welcomed by festive fragrances. Christmas baking of traditional cookies that come in two main varieties, ‘kourampiedes’ (butter almond) and ‘melomakarona’ (honey dipped) as well as various others like ‘diples’ and ‘xserotigana’ (fried and syruped dough). ‘Christopsomo’ is a special semi-sweet Christmas bread that is baked during Christmas too. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve it is a tradition for children to go around the neighbourhood singing carols known as ‘kalanta’ and it is good luck for each household or local shop to have them being sung. They repay the good deed by giving them petty cash or some of the festive sweets. Children have the time of their lives on the Christmas carousel, on the festive train and the play castle in the town park, as well as at the seasonal ice skating rink! Adults can visit the various street markets and bazaars and mingle with the locals who are on their Christmas shopping errands. Both young and old can engage in some Christmas fun of a charitable character. On the 26th December, Chania usually hosts the Santa Run, a 3.5 km race, assisted by the Red Action Team helpers who are referred to as ‘elves’, facilitating the smooth running of the event that aims at gathering funds for child welfare charity organisations.

During the evenings, Christmas in Chania is absolutely magical. All around the town, balconies and terraces, street lights and lamp posts, shop pergolas and window displays, everything is sparkling with Christmas decorations. Seeing a boat decorated with Christmas lights is not unusual for Greece! Being a country that has greatly relied upon the sea for providing livelihoods, Greece celebrates St. Nicholas or Agios Nikolaos, the patron saint of sailors on the 6th December, by decorating a wooden model ship or boat with Christmas lights. Fireplaces create a warm, cozy atmosphere everywhere you go, while the patrons at local shops, cafes and tavernas welcome guests with a smile, a treat of raki, and an inviting ambiance to share. Christmas carolling adds a wonderful note to your evenings during Christmas in Chania, brightening the night even more as the choir saunters through the alleyways, and the sound of carols fills the air. For experiencing the most festive activity yet, in the Kolimpari region of the Chania prefecture, during the night of Christmas Eve, a nativity scene representation takes place in a cave of St. John the hermit, at Marathokefala village. As for more cultural happenings more centrally in Chania, the KAM Center of Mediterranean Architecture that is along the coast at the harbour seafront, organises various performances around the holidays.

Stay with us at our Samaria Hotel in Chania town, and get to explore all the festive magic during Christmas in Chania!





 

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Samaria Hotel - 1866 Square, Chania, Crete 73 135 Greece
Tel: (+30) 28210 38600 Fax: (+30) 28210 38610 Email: info@samariahotel.gr